Press Release Tower Light
Total value of the investment: € 13.5 million for an 82% stake in the Company
Milan, 17 February 2012 – Ambienta SGR, the largest European private equity fund specialised in the environmental sector, has finalized an agreement through Ambienta I fund to invest in Tower Light S.r.l., a leader in the production of lighting towers.
Lighting towers are an outstanding solution in terms of energy efficiency, effective illumination and safety in all situations where an effective, temporary lighting is required, such as in the construction or maintenance of infrastructure but also in airports, ports and events. Tower Light is positioned in the market as the technological leader, and energy efficiency is one of the hallmarks of its products.
The investment – structured through a leveraged buyout with a limited amount of leverage – amounts to € 13.5 million and allows Ambienta to acquire an 82% stake in the company, while the CEO Andrea Fontanella will retain most of the residual equity by reinvesting a portion of the proceeds from the sale.
Following the completion of the deal, Mauro Roversi, Partner of Ambienta, Francesco Lodrini, Associate, and Dario Duse, Operating Partner, will be appointed to the Board of Directors of Tower Light, which will be led by the current CEO Andrea Fontanella.
Headquartered near Pavia, Tower Light was founded in 1997 and up to 2008 operated almost exclusively as a production site, delegating sales to a network of distributors.
After taking over the distribution activity in 2009, the company was able to post a strong growth through technological innovation (with specific, diversified product lines featuring significant energy saving compared to other products in the market), a tight control on production costs and margins and a steady geographical expansion. As a result, Tower Light today sells its products across 50 countries and commands a 30% market share in Europe, as a result of leading positions in Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Scandinavia, and a growing presence worldwide, mainly in Australia, the Middle East and Latin America. Export sales represent 85% of the total.
The revenues of Tower Light have almost doubled in the last three years, from € 16 million in 2009 to € 30 million in 2011. 2011 EBITDA tripled with respect to 2009, a further proof of product leadership and sound commercial strategy. The first quarter of 2012 is confirming the growth trend, with an order intake fostered by growing economies of the likes of South America, the Middle East and Australia.
Through its investment, Ambienta I will support Tower Light to the next stage of its development path, which points to the strengthening of its leadership in Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, a stronger presence in France, Australia, Scandinavia and the Middle East, a further expansion in emerging markets such as Brazil, Chile and India, and the exploitation of the new product range already developed under the DF Ecology line, which includes a dust control system (Dust Fighter) able to abate dust generated by demolition and similar activities while consuming one tenth the water used by traditional systems.
The world market for lighting towers has shown a healthy growth in recent years, due to a combination of factors, such as a larger demand for energy efficiency and a favourable regulatory framework increasingly encouraging night work and setting rigid illumination and safety requirements which alternative lighting systems cannot guarantee. Furthermore, the massive increase in the number of construction sites operating at night in emerging countries raises serious issues related to energy consumption and safety, which represent significant market opportunities for lighting towers, as their use improves lighting in the working areas while saving energy compared to traditional lighting systems.
“The entry of Ambienta in Tower Light represents an important step towards the strengthening of the company’s internationalization which started in the last years,” Andrea Fontanella, CEO of Tower Light, explains. “The market for lighting towers is growing rapidly. Our growth program calls for the consolidation of the existing markets and penetration into the new emerging markets.”
“The investment in Tower Light represents another opportunity for Ambienta to sustain an excellent entrepreneurial Italian initiative with a strong international reach and highly innovative products used in an array of applications,” Mauro Roversi, partner of Ambienta SGR, comments. “Over the next three years, we will work with management to further consolidate the company’s presence in the international markets, contributing our managerial expertise and the industrial network of Ambienta.”
The transaction was managed by Mauro Roversi (Partner) and Francesco Lodrini (Associate); Ambienta was advised by Labruna Mazziotti Segni for contracts and legal aspects, CBA for tax and structuring, Ernst & Young for accounting, and Global Strategy for market analysis.
TowerLight S.r.L has been assisted by the financial advisor Cross Border and by Marcello Marcantonio who acted as legal counsellor.
Tower Light Srl, founded in 1997 and based at Villanova d’Ardenghi (PV), is the European leader in the production of lighting towers for construction and other applications. Through continuous research, Tower Light Srl has become the leading supplier for all construction and equipment rental companies. For further information, visit www.towerlight.it
Ambienta Sgr is the largest European private equity fund focused on the environmental sector. Ambienta I Fund, with commitments of € 217.5 million, has so far completed eight investments in the areas of the energy efficiency, pollution reduction, recycling, and primary resource management. Ambienta contributes actively to the development of its portfolio companies, offering industrial and managerial expertise and broad industrial relations. Ambienta SGR was authorized by the Bank of Italy on 5 November 2007. Further information at www.ambientasgr.com